Perfect email data lists

7th January 2011 By Louise Stephens in Email design

The old saying 'you only get out what you put in' has never been so true when it comes to email marketing. The success of your email marketing campaign is dependent on the data and content that you use. Quality data enables you to obtain more effective open and click-through rates and helps minimise unopens and bounces.

To create perfect data lists, there are some basic rules you can apply:

  • Permissions: It sounds obvious, but make sure your recipients have agreed to receive your emails before you send your campaigns to them. If you’ve been networking and picked up a wad of new business cards, send a campaign asking the owners to opt-in to your newsletter list. Also, if someone unsubscribes, make sure you never email them again. Using the automatic unsubscribe facilities offered by the standard little green plane footer means all unsubscribes will be permanently removed from future campaigns.
  • Home grown data is best: it is wise not to use purchase lists if you can possibly avoid it. Your own data lists will be more accurate than any data that is on the market. Using home grown data also ensures that you have first-hand knowledge of your recipients and that they generally would have agreed to receive your emails in the first place. Using your own data lists also helps reduce spam complaints.
  • Segment it: try to define the groups you are likely to send campaigns to at the beginning. If you are planning to send information out to two or more different groups, set your data lists up in this format. This will allow you to select individual lists, or all lists, for any campaign.
  • Start as you mean to go on: Setting solid foundations in the first instance will reap rewards in the long run. Collating your data in an ordered way from the word ‘go’ ensures you will be making the process of updating your lists more efficient.  Separating contact details by first name, surname, company name, email and postcode is a good starter-for-ten.
  • Use Excel: Microsoft Excel is one of the best and easiest ways to upload your data into little green plane. You are probably familiar with the layout, which makes logging your contact lists easy. Create headings for each dataset that you wish to collect and start adding them beneath. Then, save the file as a .CSV and – hey presto – you are ready to import.

Don’t forget that little green plane cleanses your data for you as you go; by removing hard bounces and by stopping you sending  campaigns to role-based emails such as 'info@.....'. However, you control any new imported data so make sure you are promoting your e-newsletters as widely as possible; on your website, through social media and word of mouth.

Louise Stephens
About the Author

Louise Stephens

Louise is an email marketing consultant at little green plane. She advises and builds lasting relationships with our existing clients as well as handling all new business. Louise also conducts full demonstrations of our software and will advise on the right package for your business. Louise is passionate about email marketing and will happily train clients on a number of topics including; best practice, engaging your audience and getting the best return on your investment.